Journal Entry: Melinda Bixler-09/12/2023-Inspiration

Journal Entry

I don’t know about you, but the inspiration of others has helped me through the darkest times. When things are bad, it’s easy to notice all the little things that make a bad situation even worse. However, in reading or listening to the inspiring stories of others, I improve my skill of finding the good and possibilities within all situations.

Earlier this year, I became aware of Michael Santos and his story. Since then, I’ve been continuously inspired by the life and opportunities that he’s created for himself and so many others. Prior to August 22, 2023, I watched his videos, read his blogs and books, and did everything possible to learn from him. I always left those experiences feeling more inspired and finding hope even when the whole situation felt pretty hopeless. Since coming here, I don’t have access to the internet or any of his videos, blogs, etc. In order to stay connected to the inspirational feelings I always felt, I try to share his story with anyone willing to listen. Through that, I’m recharged and energized.

Yesterday, three of my friends (inmates) received Michael’s book, Earning Freedom, as well as the Prepare for Success workbook. Each woman has told me how amazing the book is and between the book and workbook, they’ve already devoted hours. Like me, they’re so intrigued by his well-written story that it’s tough to put the book away because the temptation to know what’s next is strong. Today, several other women approached me requesting the book and workbook. Word is spreading within and women are finding inspiration in it! I am so excited!

The workbook course is approved by the BOP to earn programming credits (FSA) toward early release so I’m hoping they will allow me to teach the program in a classroom format to interested women. There’s no doubt that they’ll benefit from it. I’ve made the request so we’ll see what happens. Either way, I’ll help anyone who’s interested in seizing the opportunity to learn from a man who excelled in a world designed to defeat him. If I can inspire others at even a fraction of how he’s inspired me then every moment I’ve spent here will be worthwhile.

Thank you Michael Santos for your endless commitment and tireless efforts to help those of us who are justice-impacted people. You inspire me each and every day.